Time travel into the development of the assembly area
Over 21 years ago, the BVS management set an important milestone in the company’s history with the commissioning of an assembly hall. Thanks to the 1,800 m² hall, the company has been able to meet the demands of many new customers from the medical technology, electrical engineering, telecommunications and aviation sectors since the beginning of the 2000s. Join us on a “journey through time” into the development of BVS Assembly, where we look back at its origins, projects that have been mastered and talk to long-standing employees about challenges in the assembly of modules and end devices.
Component assembly – strategic service component
After the company relocated in 1995 from the first BVS site in Nufringen to the current plant in Böblingen, the assembly area was housed in a hall alongside other production facilities. Even back then, the assembly process was already a high priority in BVS’s service portfolio. A supplier of PC fans was the top-selling supplier at the time, ahead of the raw material suppliers. A clear indication of a high proportion of production of assemblies and housings – at that time, housings were mainly produced for the computer industry. Harald Steiner, Managing Director of BVS Blechtechnik, confirms: “Back at the end of the 1990s, we set ourselves the target of generating at least 50% of our turnover from the supply of assemblies in the long term. This was – then as now – a major differentiator from our competitors. This focus was decisive for the continuous expansion of assembly over the years.”
New assembly hall offers growth potential
In 2001, a new hall was added to the production facility to accommodate the planned expansion of the assembly scope and the many new customers from the medical technology and telecommunications sectors. First, the assembly team took on a new project for microchip chip testers. These so-called test heads, a complex assembly consisting of stainless steel welded components, water distributors and many small parts, were meticulously put together. Other components were manufactured in simplified belt assembly for industrial keyboards or for customers in the dental technology sector.
Devices with electronic components mounted securely
At the same time, projects including electronics assembly took on a larger scope. Around 2004, the BVS team expanded the assembly area with an ESD area, which was specially secured to protect sensitive electronic control elements by means of dissipative tables and coated floors. Products for blood analysis devices in particular were and are still assembled in this protected area with many components, electronic parts and cabling. The BVS specialists then carry out a test program to test all the prescribed device functions.
Successful major projects, terminal construction
In the 2000s, the variety of orders grew, as did the number of assemblies per order. These included ticket printers for the railroads and postcard machines. From 2006, BVS fitters took on major projects for the production of end devices, such as telecommunications terminals for the company APC interactive solutions, which were delivered directly to their customer, Deutsche Telekom.
Long-time project coordinator Frank R. reports: “It was a huge project. We produced around 100 terminals per week over 11 weeks. They were extensive, complicated devices with a telephone, webcam, industrial PC and a correspondingly large number of electrical cables.”
Restructuring paves the way for airline seat orders and retail advertising displays
The figures just mentioned demonstrate the efficiency that already existed at that time. As the processes needed to run even more professionally and economically, the assembly department was rebuilt shortly before the company’s 25th anniversary. Further extensive production projects were about to go into series production and so the use of the space, a structured division of work steps and more storage space were to enable an increase in capacity. In 2014, BVS Blechtechnik produced the first prototypes for outdoor displays for a retail chain. BVS produced the robust housings for the advertising displays from powder-coated steel and assembled the screen, computer, feet and other purchased parts into a complete unit. After a test phase in 30 stores, the displays were optimized for all weather conditions and the digital advertising boards were produced at intervals for over 1600 stores in Germany.
At the same time, BVS Blechtechnik broke new ground in the aviation industry. The BVS specialists assembled around 500 individual parts from aluminum parts, clip nuts, rivets, edge protectors or cable holders over several assembly steps for so-called aircraft seat center consoles. Andrea G., the specialist fitter in charge, remembers: “The beginnings of assembling the center consoles were challenging. Because you had to pay close attention to how you assembled the 500 individual parts. We worked out the best sequence for assembling all the components in consultation with the customer”. For some time now, the specialists at BVS have been filming the assembly instructions for new orders step-by-step, thus creating instructions that can be accessed by all fitters.
Over the years, assembly has grown steadily to meet the demands and tasks of our customers. The department expanded and specialized and developed into a high-performance core area with every project. The assemblies and devices manufactured by BVS Blechtechnik are often a novelty in the respective industry or for end users and are equipped with the latest technical components and features. With our eleven-strong assembly team, we look forward to making a contribution to product development and implementing the complete production of diverse and high-quality end devices.